Before I return to my usual snarking and bitching, I just need to take a moment to give you all a heartfelt thank you for all the sweet comments, tweets and emails you’ve sent following my post on the death of my cousin Rachel. I’m still in shock and have a hard time concentrating on anything too long. And everything sends me into tears.
Last night, I finalized my plans to head home for her funeral later this week. Flights were much more reasonable than I expected for a last-minute flight, but I was still going to fly into Philly and make the 3.5 hour drive north to the Williamsport area to make it. But my dad decided to step in fly me directly into the small Williamsport airport. It will make the traveling much easier. I leave Thursday and return Saturday, so it’ll be a quick up and back, but I’m so grateful I’ll get to join my family in saying good-bye. DadJovi and E. are staying here. I’ll post another time about discussing all of this with E. I think she’s still processing things. She adores Rachel’s daughter so she knows Rachel well. We had to tell her because both DadJovi and I keep crying.
In the midst of all of this the past couple days, I realized I STILL hadn’t picked up an advent calendar for E. I casually looked a couple place the past couple weeks but didn’t see any. Before everything happened this weekend, we’d decided we were going to Magic Kingdom on Sunday, so I was pretty sure I’d be able to pick one up there.
And before you even THINK about sending me some crafty DIY Pins, just know that I don’t WANT to make my own. I don’t care how much of a special snowflake your felt, personalized advent calendar is. I’m old school. I like my advent calendars made of cardboard, with easily identifiable windows and chocolate treats inside. Is that too much to ask for?
Apparently it is.
I hit up Twitter today and asked people if they could tell me one place they knew for SURE had them. I have no time this week to be running all over the place, and yes, I’m already a couple days late anyway. I tried not to send angry tweets to the people who suggested I make my own. This girl said she thought Target had them. I thought the same thing already, so I rushed off to Tarjay over my lunch hour.
First, I tried the books section. None there. Then I checked the toy aisles because I know I’ve seen ads for these fancy Lego advent calendars. They were sold out but it wouldn’t have mattered — they were $40. Are you kidding me?!? I finally flagged down a person in a red shirt (God, I wish it had been Santa. He would have hooked me up) and they said that the only ones they’d had this year were the Lego ones and a wooden DIY one in home decor.
“But we’ve been getting a lot of questions this year from people who want the ones with candy inside.”
I know I don’t have an MBA, but that appears to be an untapped business opportunity, Mr. Target.
As I sulked toward the check-out lanes (c’mon, you didn’t think I was leaving Target empty-handed, did you?), something caught my eye on one of the endcaps near the greeting cards.
OK, it’s sort of DIY but it’s something I can handle. I grabbed a bag of candy cane Hershey’s Kisses (sidebar: holy hell those things are awesome. What? I had to taste test them before I let my dear sweet child have any) and figured I’d toss her candy as she counted down to Christmas every day. Check that item off my list.
When we got home from work and school, I was very excited to show E. that I’d stopped being such a mom failure and she wasn’t going to fall another day behind.
And then I opened the package. I know I’m not operating on all cylinders right now but for the life of me, I could not figure this damn thing out.
OK, there are a bunch of numbers, seeming to count down from 25 to 1. Do we put a sticker on the calendar every day between now and Christmas Day? So on Dec. 1, do you cover the 25? The 24 on Dec. 2? The 23 on Dec. 3? etc. etc.
I turned to the included instructions. Only two steps. This shouldn’t be hard.
Wait, what’s that? I’m supposed to cover all those numbers now? But how will E. know which stickers to peel off and in which order? Look at the first picture above. The numbers aren’t exactly in a sensical order.
Oh, now I see — there’s a sticker guide. A map key, if you will. Of course.
So lemme get this straight. For the next month, I’m supposed to a) keep track of yet another piece of paper in my house and b) tell E. things like, “OK, honey, find the circle and take it off for today’s number. No, not that circle, the other one. Nope, still the other one. Keep trying. Almost there. Just a little higher on your right.”
This is insane.
I followed the key then turned it over to E. to finish decorating.
At one point, she said to me — and I kid you not — “Mommy, this is impossible. I can’t believe this is how they made it.”
Out of the mouths of babes.
I’m sure this is going to be a flawless system. At least E. seemed happy enough with the finished product.
I write this post with the wish that next year, I’ll remember better. As I searched aisle after aisle at Target today, I have an overwhelming sense of deja vu. I’m pretty sure this is exactly what happened last year, yet somehow I know I tracked a candy-filled calendar down somewhere.
Dear future Jackie: do yourself a solid and order one on Amazon next November. You’re welcome. Love, Wiser Past You
Am I missing something? Is there some secret method to this calendar that I’m just not getting? Do you do advent calendars in your family? Store bought or DIY?